Civic leaders to receive Yates honors at Jewell opening convocation


Jewell will kick off the school year with a ceremony recognizing two Kansas City civic leaders, Esther George and Pedro Zamora. Members of the community are invited to attend.

The Opening Convocation ceremony will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 6 at John Gano Memorial Chapel and will feature an address by Maurice Watson, of counsel for Husch Blackwell. 

The ceremony will recognize two people with the William F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service, the highest non-degree award the college bestows. Past honorees include Luciano Pavarotti, “Buck” O’Neil, and Ewing and Muriel Kauffman. 

This year’s recipients are Esther George and Pedro Zamora. George is the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which is responsible for monetary policy, providing financial services and supervising banking organizations within a seven-state region. She is a voting member of the Federal Reserve’s policymaking body, the Federal Open Market Committee. In addition to her work at the Fed, she also serves on the Kauffman Foundation Board of Trustees. Zamora is the executive director for the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation. In that role, he has guided the development, implementation and improvement of adult training programs, including stackable credentials for adult immigrants. He has directed a range of community sustainability initiatives to reduce income and wealth disparities, specifically by promoting policies that protect and are inclusive of underserved communities before economic development projects become incentivized. 

The Yates Medals are named after William F. Yates, an 1898 Jewell alumnus, longtime trustee and major benefactor to the college.

The speaker at the ceremony will be Maurice Watson, who was the chairman of Husch Blackwell from 2012-2018 and principally advises educational institutions. He has represented public and private schools and school systems, colleges and universities, and regional and national education associations. He has also served on many community and national boards, including those of Children’s Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke’s Health System, Kansas City Art Institute, National Association of Independent Schools and AIDS Service Foundation, among others.